PRISM’s ESA Shortlist Explained

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Next week the winners of the European Sponsorship Association’s Excellence Awards are announced. PRISM has been shortlisted for seven awards – more than any other agency and more awards than we’ve ever been up for in a single day.

The projects come from many different departments of our diverse business, so here’s a primer to what’s up for which awards, and the work that’s being recognized…

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Our work with SUBWAY on its sponsorship of the Helping Hearts 5k run series is being recognized in the Community Sponsorship category and the Mass Participation category. The challenge was to create a unique and enjoyable experience for participants and create standout from other running events. The 2016 series smashed targets, with an average 1,187 family participants per event and reach for the race series of 3.4 million on Facebook and Twitter.

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PRISM’s SUBWAY team won more plaudits with a shortlist in the Sports Sponsorship Award for their work on SUBWAY’s sponsorship of Liverpool FC, namely the Late for Training content, Breakfast with Kloop series, and through SUBWAY’s Training Day campaign. Most of us will be familiar with this work – it’s some of the best content PRISM has created – but check these videos if you want a refresher. The PR and digital element of this work alone created a reach of 35 million with 5.5 million video views for SUBWAY, off the back of a social spend of just 20,000 euros.

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PRISM’s client Aston Martin has been shortlisted for Best Newcomer to Sponsorship for its work with Red Bull. The extraordinary collaboration was the result of PRISM’s deep connections with both companies and saw Aston Martin’s iconic wings emblazoned on Red Bull’s Formula One cars throughout the 2016 season and the two brands collaborating on the development of the AM_RB 001 hypercar.

Infiniti-Performance-Engineering-Academy-1.1-1024x607.jpgAlso in F1, PRISM’s work on the INFINITI Engineering Academy has been shortlisted for Best use of Sponsorship across Multiple Markets. This project truly draws on PRISM’s global footprint to deliver a mixture of digital engagement, events management, strategy and PR, and has generated earned media coverage across the world – 462 articles and counting, reaching 400 million readers – plus multi-million Twitter views and 100% increase in applications to the programme, year on year.

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In the Best Use of Innovation category, PRISM’s Global Celebrity Index has reached the shortlist. This proprietary tool helps brands evaluate their global celebrity ambassadors and select which offer them the greatest potential to meet their business needs. If you’re not familiar with the tool, find out more here.

The ESA awards also have a special category this year recognising agencies with superior development programmes for staff. PRISM’s up for this for the work that our HR department does to onboard staff, help us learn and develop, and instill a defining culture across our teams.

There’s fierce competition across all categories from agencies such as Fuse, Octagon, Mediacom, Bauer, Leo Burnett and Havas, working for brands such as O2, McDonald’s, Vodafone, Prudential, Colgate, Nissan and Jaguar.

In the spirit of sportsmanship we wish them all the best of luck. Stay tuned for results next week, or watch our Twitter feed on the night of Thursday, February 9, for live updates from the ceremony.

 

What makes great automotive content

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Leonard Rowe, from PRISM’s Ford Australia Content Factory.

Creating memorable and engaging content for the automotive sector involves many variables – especially in a nation of motoring fanatics, such as Australia.

Aussies love pledging allegiance to either Holden or Ford. When moving to a new school in South Australia as a child, I remember one of the first playground questions being which side of the motoring fence I was on. Just like supporting a local football team, there are endless man-caves in Australia cloaked in Ford paraphernalia, or the GM subsidiary Holden.

That said, the times, they are a changin’. Australia’s love affair with the two brands has become polygamous over recent decades. Automotive manufacturing in Australia is also coming to an end, so not everyone has a distant cousin working the production line of one brand or another, anymore. The pool of new and exciting vehicles is forever-growing within the nation. We have far more brands to choose from than the US, which, considering the vast population difference, proves there is great pressure on the incumbents to remain relevant.

Competing in this crowded market, what makes our content stand out from the rest is the ability to create a human connection to an already well-recognised brand. The desire to take a peek inside someone else’s life is inbuilt to all curious humans – the underwater welder fixing a submarine is probably intrigued by a content creator discussing future vehicles with Ford, and vice-versa.

So, rather than just producing a piece of content about the latest technological updates in a vehicle range, why not talk to the person behind those advances, throwing in a creative twist to boot? Building a real-life story around, say, an engineer, is all important. Illustrating an engineer’s interests outside of work, for instance rock climbing, and then explaining how that personal passion complements their work, we believe is a more engaging way to tell a story about a new technology or nameplate. Put simply, humans engage with human stories far more than they do with nuts and bolts.

Ford’s blue oval is one of the most recognisable badges in the world, so with great content championed by real employees who are passionate about what they do, we have a winning combination going forward in the ever-changing automotive world.

Leonard Rowe

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

The New Demand for Supply

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Karen Vera, Content Lead at the Ford Asia-Pacific Content Factory.

Elections in the social media age have not been great. For many, the decisions on Brexit, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, and Trump feel like nightmares.

When Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States, many friends (and me as well) were already dreading all the “death of journalism” stories that were bound to come out.

But there’s a wealth of expert analysis already out there on that, so this won’t be another hand-wringing article about Trump and what it means for the press. How Facebook might have (definitely?) affected the outcome of an election took place before our eyes, so I thought I’d get a head start on a new worry: What is coming our way with the advent of on-demand, ‘bot-assisted lifestyle products?

At the US Amazon store, “Dash” dongles are now available for your most commonly ordered products; press the Dash button when you’re running low and you’ll get a new delivery of your fabric softener, ASAP.

This new level of convenience can be seen in other sectors, too. Some Silicon Valley outfits have already started exploring an “Uber For Gasoline” delivery system, so you can have your tank filled wherever you are. Why waste precious real estate for service stations?

It seems many app developers are exploring this same business model – offering super convenience to the time-poor masses. Tech journalist and one of the founders of RecodeKara Swisher, has called it “assisted living for millennials” in a post she wrote for the site Tech Portfolio. All this talent and investment for creating solutions, but all it really does is support an increasingly pampered lifestyle for the privileged. At the moment, it’s specifically for the privileged of San Francisco/Silicon Valley, but what happens there will ripple to the rest of us eventually.

Of course, innovation that make lives better should continue. I want my life to be easier, too. That’s initially what Facebook offered: an easy way to stay connected. They claim that’s still what they do, but to anyone who works in the content or media industries, it can seem that the site’s main activity is charging us to put our content in front of their users.

Don’t forget that users = us. Our appetite for getting what we want is making the algorithms (Facebook’s, Amazon’s, Uber’s) more sophisticated, constantly delivering on our demand.

So what effect will this on-demand culture mean in the long run?  Will we lose interest in anything that is not available immediately? Will it affect our capabilities to browse and discover? And what do we want to do with all that extra time that new technologies claim to give us?

In the end, this isn’t exactly a new worry. We already know the answers to these questions. This drive to offer consumers everything on-demand is already shaping reality. Our fed demands lead to more impulsive decisions and less factual decision making. So, Trump’s in charge?

Sorry. I guess this was another hand-wringing article after all.

Karen Vera 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

What Makes PRISM different from other places I’ve worked…

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Jet van Batenburg from PRISM Amsterdam.

I’m a lucky girl – I’ve had three jobs since university and all three have been pretty great. The first two were in Sydney, so, besides some obvious differences (like no longer having to wear sunscreen when I go out for coffee, not being able to go for an outdoor swim during lunch and never hearing the word ‘ta’ anymore) there are a couple things that absolutely stand out at PRISM Amsterdam:

Men
I work with guys, now! My two previous jobs were both in the non-profit sector and, no kidding, it was 85-95% females in the 25-35 age bracket. From studying economics with mainly guys and being the coxswain for a men’s crew in college, to working in a team with 13 girls – that was a slight adjustment for me. I am pretty happy to be back in a mixed setting with less talk about make-up and more talk about football (and my ‘outstanding’ performance in the Fantasy Premier League competition).

Events
I have worked on some amazing projects in my previous roles, but the scale of the typical charity event differs from the outstanding events that PRISM delivers. In my first month I was standing on the beach in Scheveningen (cold!) watching 2.6 million litres of water being pumped into a man-made lake where, later that month, almost 10,000 kids sailed, SUP’ed, surfed, canoed and water-skied at the Optimist on Tour part of the Olympic Experience (it’s pictured above). In October, TCS invited 5000 guests to its hospitality area in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon where they received a VIP experience in a 2000-metre-squared tent. Delivering this amazing project was definitely the highlight of my career so far.

Cake
Yes, working with mainly women in the past I thought I had my fair share of ‘morning teas’, but I’ve never eaten as much cake as in the past six months here at PRISM. Usually when someone leaves their computer unlocked they have to buy everyone else cake, but in the last month we have had to stop this ‘punishment’ as no one could fit in their New Year’s outfits anymore. I’m sure we will get back into this great habit soon, or, if not, we still have birthdays, anniversaries, promotions… and Fridays. It’s a good thing we all have a slight obsession with sports.

Culture
‘Work hard, play hard’ is such a cliché, but as I mainly talk in clichés according to my colleagues I feel like I need to use at least one in this blog. Each and every one of my colleagues knows how to go to extreme lengths to get high-quality projects delivered in short time frames, but they also know how to celebrate with the team once the job is done.

Add to this great clients and projects, Dutch directness, cheesy (read: terrible) humour, and group CrossFit sessions and you have the reasons I love walking into our office every day.

Jet van Batenburg

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

The Impossible Brief…

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Cali Christians from PRISM’s Santa Monica office.

For anyone who has ever worked agency-side, the below client brief might sound familiar:

“It has to feel premium but we only have a budget of [insert very low number here].”
“It has to be something ‘never seen before’ and something ‘money can’t buy’.”
“We’re looking for a big PR stunt but are limited by X, Y, Z.”
“I know it’s a month’s worth of work but it needs to happen next week.”
“We want to make our video go viral.”

Most of the time these lines are delivered with a wink and a nod because clients themselves know they are asking for the impossible. No one can guarantee that a video goes viral or that this “money can’t buy experience” really could not be bought if someone had the funds.

However, if you are like me (or a bit of a masochist) you love a request like this because it means you have to solve a problem creatively and – good news! – you now have pre-determined parameters meaning there are fewer solutions to choose from.

When in these situations, I like to start by taking what I perceive to be the “weakness” or “obstacle” and attempt to turn it into a strength in some way. And whenever I get discouraged in the process, I try to remember that similar limitations have allowed many professionals and creatives to achieve some of their greatest work…

My favorite example of this comes from my time in college, studying Film & Television Production at the University of Southern California. During my studies, I learned about how one particular filmmaker, faced with a string of limitations, was able to turn those limitations into his greatest assets. Keeping with the spirit of this article, had this been a client brief, it might have looked something like this:

Create a short film. This short film must be of award-winning caliber, good enough to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and described by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historical or aesthetically significant”. The parameters are:

  • There can be no dialogue
  • It must be 15-minutes or less
  • You may only use the following resources: an on-campus computer room, a parking garage, a few white jumpsuits and some duct tape.

I think many people would look at that and say, “it can’t be done”, and with good reason! But a young student at USC was able to pull it off. Who was this student? Well, even if you’re not a film historian, you’ve surely heard the name: it was George Lucas, and the film was his dystopian escape thriller Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138.

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Lucas used the sparse locations and low quality to his advantage by embracing them head-on, incorporating them into the film’s narrative. The result was a great success.  Everyone from Apple Macintosh’s famous 1984 commercial to the slew of low-budget “dystopian” and “found footage” movies that have followed have paid homage to (or borrowed from) this low-budget student film.

That’s not to say we need to reinvent the wheel with every brief. But when you restrict the playing field and set tighter parameters, it forces you into a unique space that – if you handle it with care while remaining conscious of the brief – can elevate the project/activation/campaign to something both you and your client can be proud of.

Cali Christians

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

Tips for Working Across Time Zones

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Molly Ingle from PRISM’s Santa Monica office. 

One of the perks of working for an international company like PRISM is the ability to work with clients and colleagues across the globe. This also means having to learn techniques for seamlessly working across time zones for phone calls, Skype meetings, texting and travelling. From my experience, mastering this just comes down to solid communication and effective organisation. If you’re clear and respectful with all stakeholders, you can learn to navigate global projects without too many sleepless nights. So here are my top three tips for managing projects across multiple time zones.

Know your time zones
Use the world clock on your smart phone and get accustomed to referencing it when scheduling calls and sending out emails. It’s easy to press send after composing a really long email, but check your clock to see how that might be interrupting someone’s evening. Use Microsoft Outlook to schedule your emails so that they send during normally accepted work hours.

Effective diary management
The time difference can be used to your advantage if you determine the right formula to ensure work is being done around the clock. When I am able to complete my work and send it over to colleagues in Europe, they then have a whole day to work on something and send it back to me. Working smarter by recognising what hours you have that overlap with those of your colleagues and clients allows you to prioritize daily schedules better. Setting time aside in the morning for calls with Europe then gives you the rest of the day to focus on tasks and internal meetings.

Know your clients’ cultural attitudes towards work and home life
American businesses don’t tend to give employees as much vacation (or annual leave) as their European counterparts. Most companies in the U.K. offer employees 28 days vacation plus bank holidays. France has just passed a law prohibiting employers from requiring employees to check emails outside of business hours. Denmark is famous for its culture of seeing work as a place for happiness, while the home, especially in winter, is full of “hygge” (which is a concept focusing on coziness – think warm blankets, lots of candles, hot cocoa, and friends). When working with European clients we have to remember that they might not always be as available as we are used to, so we have to be sensitive (and maybe a bit jealous!) if they don’t always respond as quickly as we’d like.

Working with clients across multiple time zones has its challenges, but can also be incredibly rewarding. Get familiar as quickly as you can; start to live and breathe those zones. Put up several clocks on the wall if you have to! Find systems and tools that work for you and stick to them and your communication flow. Overall, it can be fun dealing with clients in multiple time zones, with contrasting seasons and different holidays. It provides a glimpse into another culture, country and society, and it definitely keeps your day interesting.

Molly Ingle

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

My Favourite Piece of Business Advice

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Giles Thomas, PRISM’s Global COO. 

In business, we are flooded with people offering helpful advice. The business books area at airports is always one of the largest sections, full of weighty tomes promising to help you to manage better, get promoted faster, make more money, etc. etc.

Some of the advice is new, much of it is just what the last chap said (and it does mostly seem to come from men) but rebundled under some fancy new method or technique. This doesn’t mean the advice is poor; quite the opposite, much of it is very good, and to be recommended. But, as you progress through a career in management, the fads roll up into what I would just call good management technique, and they become second nature.

But one particular quote that I shall always remember, and which has a surprisingly wide application, is this: “You never learn anything new from someone who agrees with you.”

On the face of it this seems obvious, but there are many leaders in business who don’t seem to want to learn, confident in the belief that they know best and we should all be grateful for their gift. Plus, there are team members who won’t challenge (perhaps fearful of the consequences on their career) or else just want an easy life.

Unfortunately, while decision making done in this way will benefit from speed, it may well lack imagination, consideration of better options and an appreciation of risks. In short, it may not help you reach the best decision.

So, when making decisions make sure you:

  • Are clear about your choice, and why you selected it
  • Set out and invite alternative options, with all the various costs, benefits and risks attending
  • Invite support and criticism for these options. Use experts. Go beyond your usual pool of advisers
  • Listen to these arguments, challenge the presumptions but don’t disparage alternative points of view
  • Ask how other companies (especially successful ones!) might make the same decision

If, having done all this, you still prefer your own choice, then fine. But at least you’ve been through a quality evaluation process and can back it up. And, if you come to a different, better decision, then you’ve learned something as well as come up with a better solution.

So, next time everyone around the table agrees with you, perhaps you should ask yourself why. After all, two heads are better than one. But only if you use them both.

Giles Thomas 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

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